TMCnews Featured Article
September 12, 2011
Hosted Predictive Dialer: Be Informed before You Buy
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
In the hosted predictive dialer space, it seems that every vendor’s offering is the leading solution in the industry. It can’t be possible that every solution is truly a leader, so how do you determine the best fit for your environment? You have to dig a little deeper to get to the heart of what a solution has to offer. This challenge was explored in a recent LiveVox (News - Alert) blog.
The writer stressed that the key to making the right decision on a hosted predictive dialer, or any other call center technology, is to have all the information. This information will need to include the cost of the solution or service and how much control the call center has over accumulating costs. One example included an outbound IVR (Interactive Voice Response), broadcast messaging and dialers. Many of these solutions will charge a per-minute rate.
Hosted predictive dialer vendors that instead suggest they cap all calls at a quarter excite call center managers who know they will pay no more than $0.25 per call regardless of length. With a promise of $0.05 per minute, no center should be charged for calls longer than five minutes. This sounds like an ideal situation as every call center manager can share nightmarish memories of marathon calls that just don’t seem to end. Such situations appear to be a great deal for the center. LiveVox suggests, however, that the deal may not be as good as it seems.
The provider of hosted predictive dialer solutions analyzed millions of calls and found that such long calls are more memorable than they are frequent. Less than one-fifth of 1 percent, or 0.016 percent of all calls pass the five minute threshold. Most calls are short duration calls or answering machine hang-ups that last mere seconds.
Being fully informed requires that the call center understand whether or not a vendor promoting a price cap on this less than 1 percent is also charging a 24 or 30-second minimum billing duration. In other words, regardless of how quickly the call ends, the call center is still billed for half of one full minute. No matter how good the deal sounds, the savings on the 0.016 percent of calls longer than five minutes will never amount to what is being charged on half of the per-minute rate on nearly 90 percent of all calls.
When examining a hosted predictive dialer or other outbound product that charges per minute, you need to find out two things: the shortest billing duration offered by the vendor; the vendor’s subsequent billing duration. When you have this information, you can more easily match features against features, truly assessing the total cost of ownership.
To find out more about LiveVox, visit the company at ITEXPO West 2011. To be held Sept. 13-15 in Austin, TX,ITEXPO (News - Alert) is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit LiveVox in booth 303. Don’t wait. Register now.
Stay in touch with everything happening at ITEXPO… follow us on Twitter.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.